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Author: Ilona Bray

Ilona Bray is an attorney who gave up the active practice of law to edit and author books and articles for Nolo. Her working background includes both solo immigration practice and working or volunteering as an immigration attorney with nonprofit organizations in Seattle and California.
Time’s Running Out for Voter Registration: Are You Eligible If Born Outside the U.S.?

Time’s Running Out for Voter Registration: Are You Eligible If Born Outside the U.S.?

People born in countries outside the United States but currently living here cannot, in most cases, vote in U.S. elections unless they’ve first been lawful permanent residents (with a green card) for some years then successfully applied for naturalized U.S. citizenship. This is frustrating for many who’ve applied for citizenship, because processing government delays currently stretch months and even years. The clock is ticking for anyone wishing to vote in the next U.S. election, especially since many states require registration…

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Will New $300 Tax Deduction Spur Donations to Charity?

Will New $300 Tax Deduction Spur Donations to Charity?

The coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic has made nonprofit charities in the U.S. and abroad more crucial than ever. They’re a key part of the safety net, providing support to people who are hungry, unhoused, ill, or face other life challenges. Yet the pandemic has impacted donors’ very ability to make contributions, or at least their confidence in parting with hard-earned cash given the uncertainty of the future, economic and otherwise. In a global survey of charities by CAF America, nearly…

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Lawyers Organize to Help Low-Income Persons Needing Legal Help During Pandemic

Lawyers Organize to Help Low-Income Persons Needing Legal Help During Pandemic

Hiring a lawyer when one is already financially stressed can feel like the classic Catch-22. To make yourself financially whole, you need to pursue a claim; perhaps for unemployment or medical benefits, to contest an eviction or unlawful job termination, or something else; but the very stress you’re under makes paying a lawyer an impossible prospect. And since the start of the COVID-19 or coronavirus pandemic, people have definitely been under real and imminent forms of financial stress. Fortunately, attorneys…

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Nonprofits in Financial Distress: Coronavirus-Relief Loans Might Help

Nonprofits in Financial Distress: Coronavirus-Relief Loans Might Help

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the CARES Act) which was signed into law on March 27, 2020, allocated a record $2 trillion in various forms of relief to businesses, individuals, various government agencies, and yes, nonprofit organizations. The idea is to smooth the financial disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.  Specifically what’s in it that can help nonprofits in financial trouble? In brief, you might be able to access loans to: Help meeting payroll, rent, mortgage, or…

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COVID-19 Turning Spring Open House Season Into Spring “Closed House” Season

COVID-19 Turning Spring Open House Season Into Spring “Closed House” Season

Although real estate agents have long questioned whether open houses really work to sell houses, they are an established, widely loved tradition. And spring is when the most sellers put their houses on the market. Why not, with flowers blooming and people enjoying being out and about? Unfortunately, we are not in normal circumstances. The coronavirus or COVID pandemic has put many regions of the U.S. on virtual lockdown, with people allowed to leave their homes only for essential or…

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